Sayeed Amar al-Hakeem, the head of the Islamic Supreme Council of Iraq stressed that the round table is an important entrance to achieve the harmony, national reconciliation and the active blocs involvement of the parliamentary elections winners to form a government based on genuine partnership but not partisan ministries, and that is all grass-roots, which voted for the lists they are represented in the management of the country In the resolution, as well as the principle of relying on trustees and qualified.
This event took place in the “special interview” show conducted by al-Hurra satellite TV with his Eminence on Saturday 10 of April, 2010.
Many topics were discussed during the interview related to the Iraqi situation and regional, Arab and international issues, in addition the internal affairs of the Islamic Supreme Council of Iraq.
To be followed the interview below.
Dialogues to form the government.
Al-Hurra TV / regarding the dialogues to from the government, there are convergence statements between the Supreme Council and State of Law, have the negotiations reached some level? Is there any more convergence?
Sayeed Amar al-Hakeem / no doubt that both, the National and State of Law Alliances have a joint business over the past six years along through the United Iraqi Alliance for two parliamentarian stages therefore, there is close understanding, coordination and joint action in which called to unify both alliances for same shared visions in certain spaces, and according to this background, various committees have been formed between both sides and began to dialogue and negotiate in order to reach an understandings to enable both alliances to form a unify alliance. In fact the progress made in important areas as some central issues still under discussion, including the mechanism to choose the prime minister inside both alliances, but when we will be able to control these matters to reach common visions then we can say that there is a possibility to form an alliance between the two sides.
Al-Hurra TV / where is the problem to choose the prime minister between both sides?
Al-Hakeem / Let’s say too many as of the placed compromise, consensus on a candidate or more, how to nominate, how to sign the Prime Minister, is he going to be elected or appointed or a special committee of both sides must determine such a nomination or to give more than one option thru the both alliances, the case still in the process of discussion and deliberation under the National Coalition and inside both alliances until we reach a common vision that can convince everyone to identify the right person to the prim ministry.
The round table
Al-Hurra TV / you personally and the Supreme Council have announced your attitude on the positive of the Iraqi List, but there are reservations about some of the coalitions of parties to the Iraqi List, how do you explain that?
Sayeed Amar al-Hakeem / There is no doubt that we are different in some details and estimates, we in the National Alliance had a vision is an important entrance to achieve the harmony, national reconciliation and the active blocs involvement of the parliamentary elections winners to form a government based on genuine partnership but not partisan ministries, as we pointed out, perhaps some of the politicians brothers have another point of view and looking at different steps, but we respect their opinions however when we talk about an alliance between both sides I don’t think it is necessary that all details been agreed. There are essential entrances and substantive issues between both alliances, in case if they were agreed, then we will be able to achieve such an alliance. Even though, the National Alliance will remains fully free in its orientations, continuing alliances and contacts with the Kurdistan Alliance and al-Iraqiya List, but it is never necessary to be completely bound to one side, we are not talking about integration, but about an alliance.
Al-Hurra TV / another problem related to Prime Minister, that the bloc that reaches the prime ministry will not get any other position as of ministry or any other high level position, and this causes a problem to al-Iraqiya list and the National Alliance, what is your comment while too many political powers around?
Al-Hakeem / of course it is not like that, it can’t be in such way that each alliance is having one chance, but there are more than one chance and diverse and multiple opportunities. The prime minister position is very important and enjoys with the biggest attention paid by all, but this does not prevent the real opportunities to reach this position, especially when we talk about big lists as of al-Iraqiya list with 91 parliamentary seats, the State of Law list 89 seats and the National Alliance with 70 seats, as example the past experience, the prime ministry position considered to be for 15 MPs among 275, therefore our brothers in al-Dawa Party have won the Prime Ministry position where they had 12 MPs and completed the other 15 seats, I think that this issue to be debated in the coming period.
Al-Hurra TV / It seem that the top positions have not specified for certain names and that the current period still witnessing basic dialogues among the parties?
Al-Hakeem / all the parties have the right to be ambitioned to serve and take the responsibility at any position, there for everyone is waiting for the opportunity, and as we said before, we did not get into a presidential elections to be our votes are the final, but it is a parliamentary elections that takes us to parliamentary political blocs, and here no one can enter into alliances to form the largest bloc, and vice versa.
The national partnership government..
Al-Hurra TV / the intentions are heading towards a partnership government, does the partnership here means to create nicer quotas?
Sayeed Amar al-Hakeem / There is an essential difference between partnership and quotas, the quota have been applied some way in our past experience, in which that a ministry goes to a certain political party as its share, and then they set a name and no one has the right to object as the new minister believes that his ministry belongs to his political party sp he make fundamental changes in the overall officials and managers and comes with people may be his relatives, of course not everybody follow this phenomenon but we have seen such things in many ministries as it created an unhealthy environment and big resentment and sometimes unsuccessful nominations while no one can ask the others about what they are doing, because it be considered as a pressure, so that we fell in quotas.
While the true partnership and true components’ representation, there is the full check options on the competencies of nominated people even giving the wanted opportunity to the winner blocs depending on the virtue of gravity and the elections to nominate their names and characters to some position, so we are talking about the principle here where these ministries won’t be partisan but Iraqi, as we want to feel and see all the voters rights represented in such trustees and qualified characters.
Al-Hurra TV / There are some fears that the partnership government may disable the observation , just like what happened in the previous phase, as the blocs do not want to question their ministers and officials?
Amar al-Hakeem / we have to be fair to say that the disruption of the supervisory role in the previous phase was also due to the nature of security and political conditions in the country, the government and for long time was going and dealing with the (half plus one) concept, and there was a withdrawal by large number of ministers in imperative security circumstances, so there was feeling that the increasing pressure on the government under the conditions of complicated political and security situation may lead to the democratic project in the country down, so the situation lead to kind of consistency, but in fact, we must break these barriers and hold accountability to question the minister if noted that his performance does not matches the requirements, we must set new rules to break to the difficulties to pass them and learn from past to improve it.
Al-Hurra TV / But don’t you think that the partnership government will block the way towards observation?
Sayeed Amar al-Hakeem, / I do not think so, especially if we want to look for an absent component the from the political scene in Iraq, but the people made the choices and this way the National Alliance and the State of Law list have to unify their efforts under one coalition, while al-Iraqiya has its own interests and same thing to the Kurdistan Alliance in which the political colors are different.
The absence of any partner means ignoring the will of its component among the Iraqi population, in the future we might be able to access to a functioning and active government also active opposition when the government and opposition are both able to convince to represent all Iraqi factions.
Al-Hurra TV / there isn’t any political side represent opposition, why is that where all involve in the government?
Sayeed Amar al-Hakeem / These involved blocs presented and provided its programs to the people and the people voted depending on these programs which means that these political lists are responsible towards its people to apply the programs, so the implementation can’t be done from the opposition position but from the executive services positions, so the official can defend the rights of people when he is present at the Cabinet or in the government.
Al-Hurra TV / but the opposition act must be high and affective?
Sayeed Amar al-Hakeem / There is no doubt that the role of the opposition is important, but we cannot look at the Iraqi experience, as it is deeply democratic experience and Iraq as a country of proper institutions or things in the country are going as it should be go. We are recovering now days gradually and the Iraqi project contains a lot of problems, cracking , crisis of confidence, regional and international realities problems, political conditions, security and development issues are all difficult and requires courage decisions to make and these decisions will needs to be supported by a wide range base.
Religious authority .. Iraqi and Najafian privacy..
Al-Hurra TV / There are whom involves religious institution to the overall situation in the country and there is an opinion that this is to build an Iraqi scholar religion basic, what do you think?
Amar al-Hakeem / We believe that the religious establishment behavior in Iraq, especially the religious authority was clear behavior within the contexts of work, the religious authority does not interfere in the details in spite of the big pressure exerted to get the religious authority opinion but it favors to leaving large spaces in the decisions and details of political powers, and when things get tough and reaches the country to major crises the religious authority gives solutions and intermediate, recommendations and suggestions and resolve problems, we note today that when a crisis among the parties, we find that the different blocs and characters sending delegations to the religious authority, therefore as long as we are on lack of the institutional process, which gives the full solve to address all problems thru institutional contexts, for example no one agrees with Federal Court judge if it doesn’t match his requirements and vise verse.
Al-Hurra TV / if we assume that the next person in the religious authority after Sayeed al-Sistani will be a man who does not believed in his attitudes, then we will have a problem in Iraq?
Sayeed Amar al-Hakeem / we know that we are building a constitutional state, and there are full contexts developed in the Constitution that the states’ institutions take its duties and opportunity to resolve issues and differences. The presence of weakness and vulnerability in our constitutional and institutional building of the Iraqi state causes some crisis and the question here, shall we go beyond the borders to resolve it? The religious authority or we must keep it insider as pure Iraqi issues? The religious authority have been always a source for good for the Iraqis because its recommendations and advices cannot be considered a breach of the contexts, the Iraqi constitution is clear as the role of religious authority in Najaf. what it’s important that there is a Najafian culture at the religious institution in Najaf province, since 1000 years ago the religious authority adopted a methodology in dealing with the matters that reassures all to trust the role of Najaf Authority as there will never be orders or commands to apply but recommendations consistent with the contexts of public, political institutions, political parties, while the Iraqi state institutions having the full power.
Al-Hurra TV / regarding the next person (Khalefa) that comes after al-Sistani in Najaf, how do you read this situation, since Iran is seeking to fill the space by its presence in some offices here and there? so how do you, your organization and Najaf authority, reading this?
Sayeed Amar al-Hakeem / It just a media bubble not more, the religious authority in Najaf never been chosen as what is going on with our dears the Christians, or even, for at Al Azhar in Egypt, no it’s not like that, , the religious authority in Najaf secretes itself in a complicated system, especially where a lot of complexity to prevent any breakthroughs or certain commands as it is known in its long history, so Sayeed al-Sistani wasn’t hired by a Commission or employed though.
Al-Hurra TV / don’t you think that this can be a problem, especially the choice by a chance or that it is chaotic?
Sayeed Amar al-Hakeem / it is not chaotically, but objectively, because there must be ingredients of scientific, practical and high standards to convince the experts in this field of hardworking and scholars in a wide range of its merits, and that’s why the impact and penetration are complicated.
Al-Hurra TV / where does the position of Sayeed Mohamed Saied al-Hakeem among the religious authority? Whom do you support?
Al-Hakeem / the political powers cannot intervene in the selection of the reference, this isn’t its business nor to identify the religious authority location and roles because such contexts are made by the religious establishment quite away from the role of political powers, so Sayeed Mohamad Saied al-Hakeem is one of the great religious authorities, whom takes this role is non of the political parties but according to the nature of the approved specifications.
Al-Hurra TV / with the presence of non-Iraqis religious authorities in Najaf, does the politicians looking for an Iraqi authority to end this confusion?
Amar al-Hakeem / This is a limited view to the religious authority concept, the religious authority is unrelated to the nationality or belonging to a country, but there are subjective and objective specifications related to the scientific and practical ability to meet the heavy responsibilities, we note the strength of Najaf today as it contains reference from different nationalities as of Iraqi, Iranian, Pakistani and Afghan and so on.
Relationships with the Sadrist movement..
Al-Hurra TV / does the variation concept of resistance between you and the Sadrists could affect into inside the National Alliance?
Sayeed Amar al-Hakeem / we are talking in general about an alliance, not a merger between some political powers on one single side, the alliance means that the multiple resolutions, orientations and perceptions powers agree with each other within a specific program, to unify its visions and this does not prevent other certain views and actions outside this framework, Regarding the resistance, there was confusion and lack of using words, we found on what was said on respecting the principle of resistance, and it is a human right guaranteed but some of people claimed their belonging to this address, we defended the resistance when it is clear for these behaviors.
Al-Hurra TV / There is a difference between you and the Sadrist regarding the American presence, does that affect the National Alliance?
Amar al-Hakeem / as an alliance, there is perfect harmony in the Iraqi fact and there is a commitment to the withdrawal of the foreign troops, then we are in agreement with our Sadrist brothers in this and there is no any problem, but what remains are how to name this situation, deal with it and how to receive the results, these details remains among insider as one political parties alliance, but our situation regarding everything related to the troops withdrawal are agreed.
Al-Hurra TV / again, is it agreed vision?
Sayeed Amar al-Hakeem / inside the INA program, there is a clear vision of how to achieve Iraq's sovereignty, independence, the U.S. troops withdrawal and the balanced regional relations between Iraq and other countries, so the general framework is acceptable.
The INA internal situation ..
Al-Hurra TV / we asked Dr. Ibrahem al-Jafari in an earlier interview for the voting mechanism that will be adopted for the INA, he answered that the INA voting mechanism depends on the number of seats in the parliament or the number of votes obtained by some party, have you discussed such topic?
Ammar al-Hakim / the INA waiting for the final result of course after the appeals consideration to resolve the issue then the INA will sit according to its rules and consideration as it needs to develop its roles distribution.
Al-Hurra TV / Some people say that this issue will harm the INA?
Sayeed Amar al-Hakeem, / I do not think so, there is a will to maintain the unity of the INA, there is a unified program, there is a political institution we want to create and devote to our new model of the political landscape of Iraq and we hope that the understanding that we are witnessing among the parties can be passes any other differences.
Al-Hurra TV / during a previous interview, you said that we have a program in need for more powerful voice in the parliament, how is that?
Amar al-Hakim / Yes, we have a program for the INA as of how to choose whom wants to be the INA head, the head of an INA Political Commission, a president of a parliamentary bloc, a president of the Ministerial bloc for the INA, an official spokesman for the INA, and so on ..
Al-Hurra TV / isn’t it a quotas?
Amar al-Hakim / no it’s not, because in the previous alliance structure rules, we had a President of the alliance and the Prime Minister and perhaps this was one of the reasons that led some of them to leave the coalition, but when we were evaluating the previous period we have noticed that the non-diversion of the alliance to the institution and not to give other parties their roles in, may resolve issues, this vision used before the elections.
The Supreme Council affairs ..
Al-Hurra TV / regarding your presidency to the Supreme Council, now the fortunes of the Supreme Council dropped lower, what is your responsibility for this decline?
Sayeed Amar al-Hakim / according to the popular level there is no decrease in the governorate councils Elections of course, because the Supreme Council got a 540 thousand votes in this election, and 700 thousand votes during the latest election, these good results we got in a short period in spite of problems and challenges that we faced, especially the death of Sayeed Abdul- Aziz al-Hakeem, but the Supreme Council remained united and effective, it was able to develop itself through these difficult circumstances.